Advance your learning and develop as a leader

ImageFor more than 50 years, nurse practitioners have provided high quality, cost efficient patient care, establishing themselves as an integral component of the health care team. Their roles continue evolve in response to societal influences; in particular, expanded access to health care, provider shortages, the aging population and the trend of cost containment.

To address this evolution in health care, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College offers the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) concentration, a master’s degree program for nurses with a minimum of two years’ recent critical care experience.

“Acute care nurse practitioners draw from their valuable experiences as bedside nurses and integrate the knowledge and skills acquired in their advanced nursing education into patient care,” says Beth Beyatte, director of the AGACNP program. “This is the next logical step for nurses interested in expanding their practice and maintaining close relationships with their patients by participating in the overall management of their illnesses.”

AGACNPs provide advanced nursing care in a variety of practice settings to adult and geriatric patients experiencing acute, critical, complex chronic health conditions. While many AGACNPs practice in hospitals in areas that include emergency departments, intensive care units and general patient care areas, they also work in specialty care, long-term acute care and ambulatory care settings. They are involved in all aspects of patient management, working collaboratively with physicians and other members of the health care team to stabilize patients, minimize complications and promote physical and psychological wellbeing.

Students in the Goldfarb AGACNP program gain hands-on clinical experience at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, one of the nation’s best hospitals. Unlike most schools, Goldfarb pre-arranges relationships with clinical sites and preceptors so students do not have to do this work on their own. “Preceptors and clinical sites can be a hot commodity for advanced practice nursing students. Securing them removes the responsibility from the students and allows them to concentrate on other aspects of their education. Our students learn from top-notch advanced practice nursing providers, physicians and other members of the health care team. I feel confident they are receiving the best nursing that medicine has to offer,” Beyatte says.

The 27-month sequential program includes small, face-to-face classes. Students establish a strong connection with faculty, who actively practice in the clinical setting. Specialty courses provide an in-depth review of system-specific health problems commonly seen in the acute care setting. They also offer students the opportunity to hone their skills in ECG and radiology interpretation and perform invasive procedures in Goldfarb’s technologically advanced simulation center.

Graduates of the program are prepared to assume the many responsibilities associated with the role of the AGACNP nurse and the demands of the patient population. “There are always opportunities for growth and leadership as an AGACNP,” Beyatte says. “The possibilities are endless.”

If you’re ready to advance your learning and develop as a leader in your field, apply for Goldfarb’s AGACNP program. Apply online at BarnesJewishCollege.edu/ApplyNow or contact the admissions office by phone at 314-454-7057 or by email at gson-admissions@bjc.org.

Think of Your Heart First: Understanding Heart Failure Symptoms

Image

Dr. K Reeder, research assistant professor at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College

An estimated 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, a figure that is expected to increase 25 percent by 2030. Heart failure is a serious, chronic condition associated with frequent hospitalizations and a high rate of death.

Living with heart failure requires vigilance in self-management and monitoring, including early recognition, interpretation and reporting of symptoms. For many patients, taking care of their heart failure is challenging, as symptoms may be vague, may wax and wane over time, or may overlap with other conditions and medication side effects.

A study conducted by Dr. K. Reeder is aimed at helping patients manage heart failure, improve quality of life, and avoid hospitalization. Dr. Reeder is a nurse researcher at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2010, Dr. Reeder received a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) to study how patients recognize, interpret, and manage heart failure symptoms. Descriptions of patients’ symptom experiences will enhance understanding of how patients perceive their symptoms and the self-care strategies they use to relieve their symptoms.

Findings from Dr. Reeder’s study indicate patients often fail to recognize and attribute signs and symptoms to their heart, even though all of the patients interviewed experienced at least one of the three most common symptoms leading to hospitalization:  1) shortness of breath, 2) fatigue, and 3) swelling or weight gain due to excess fluid retention. Patients participating in this study often reported that their symptoms were caused by a variety of things other than heart failure, such as changes in their diet or medications and other illnesses such as pneumonia or diabetes. One patient said, “I couldn’t walk to the mailbox without shortness of breath. I would sit and rest halfway to the mailbox, and then my shortness of breath would disappear. I never recognized it as my heart. I thought it was my lungs, probably pneumonia.”

Patients in this study also delayed reporting symptoms to a health care provider; some delaying for over two weeks or until symptoms were severe. One patient said, “I thought I had an upper respiratory infection and would get over it. I had shortness of breath approximately six weeks, but it got worse in the last two weeks. My friend took me to the emergency room.”

Other studies have found that early recognition and reporting of symptoms to health care providers is an important step in preventing hospitalizations, yet Dr. Reeder’s study showed that recognizing and interpreting symptoms related to heart failure may be difficult, leading to use of various self-care strategies and delayed reporting to health care providers.

If you are living with heart failure (or know someone who is living with heart failure), think of your heart firstsm when you feel changes in your health.

  1. Think of your heart firstsm if you have shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling and weight gain, and report these symptoms to your health care provider.
  2. Even if you have other diseases or illnesses that could be causing your symptoms, think of your heart first when you have symptoms, as symptoms of other conditions are often related to your heart.
  3. Think of your heart firstsm by recognizing early signs and symptoms, and reporting them to your doctor. Be aware of signs and symptoms such as a cough that won’t go away, upset stomach, nausea, or lack of appetite, confusion or altered thinking and racing or throbbing heart.

For more information about this research, please contact Dr. K Reeder, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, 314-286-2654, kreeder@bjc.org.

This project is supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under award number R00NR012217. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research.

Volunteering to Make a Difference

We are excited to have Stephen Kielbasa, a BSN student at Goldfarb School of Nursing, back as a guest blogger. In this blog he shares his experience, and the experiences of two other Goldfarb students, volunteering at a community event this spring. 

Mother To Mother Luncheon

From left to right, Goldfarb School of Nursing students, Emily Hancock, Stephen Kielbasa, Jeannetta Brooks

I’ll admit it—pink shirts often get overlooked when I get dressed in the morning. When it comes to supporting good causes though, I’m always willing to go the extra mile and so are the members of our Goldfarb Student Nursing Association (SNA). Despite being on term break, several SNA members donned pink shirts and volunteered for the Mother To Mother Luncheon at SqWires restaurant in April. Mother To Mother provides support to soon-to-be mothers and those experiencing postpartum adjustment disorder (PPAD). Thanks to events like the fund-raising luncheon, Mother To Mother is able to offer its services at no cost to clients. Here are some thoughts from fellow SNA members and students who also attended the event.

“I wanted to volunteer for the Mother To Mother Luncheon because the services the organization provides are both important and unique. Because I’m a mom, I understand the stress and anxiety that occur during pregnancy and after giving birth. I think that Mother To Mother provides a vital service that addresses issues that are often ignored.

There’s often a stigma attached to postpartum depression, and I listened with admiration as a Mother To Mother client shared her story, which was both courageous and insightful. I really enjoyed meeting the staff and the different guests, as well as getting to know some of my classmates who were volunteering.” Emily Hancock, BSN – Upper Division

“I was happy to have the opportunity to volunteer for and support Mother To Mother. As a mother, I know that along with the joys of motherhood come periods of emotional contention that may need additional support. The organization recognizes the many degrees of PPAD and is able to provide resources to assist even the most severe cases at no cost to the mother.

It was a great pleasure to spend my day supporting one of their biggest fund raising events and help ensure that Mother To Mother can provide services to mothers throughout the St. Louis Metro Area.” Jeannetta Brooks, BSN – Accelerated

At the end of the event, I think we all agreed that the Mother To Mother Luncheon was a great experience. We had an opportunity to see the innerworkings of a nonprofit organization and participate in supporting a great cause. I want to thank our student volunteers, and I hope that many more will join the SNA in supporting other great causes this year.

Stephen Kielbasa, SNA community chair

For more information about Mother To Mother, visit www.mothertomothersupport.org or call 314-644-7001.

Missouri Nurses Association Nurse Advocacy Day

Nurses not only impact health care by teaching future nurses and by caring for patients, but many are involved in shaping laws to enhance patient care and the nursing profession. A group of students witnessed firsthand how nurses are influencing laws at the 27th Annual Missouri Nurses Association Nurse Advocacy Day in Jefferson City, Missouri. Stephen Kielbasa, a BSN student at Goldfarb School of Nursing, shares his experiences from that day and what he learned while at the state capital.

Image

Stephen Kielbasa, along with fellow student Gina Kitterer (center) and faculty member Dr. Mary Curtis, enjoyed their time at the capitol during the Missouri Nurses Association Nurse Advocacy Day.

One couldn’t help but feel the anticipation while watching and listening to the hustle and bustle of the crowd. Friends and strangers chatted away. Nurses, professional and student wandered through exhibits. Hungry conference-goers balanced bagels and coffee cups in their hands waiting for the event to begin. Why all the excitement? Well, this was just the beginning of what would turn out to be an informative and adventurous day in Jefferson City, Missouri —the 27th Annual Missouri Nurses Association (MONA) Nurse Advocacy Day.

MONA drew registered nurses and students from all parts of Missouri to the Missouri state capital to learn about the legislative process and the importance of organizing our collective lobbying power. The day included a number of speakers and a visit to the capitol building. We learned about current state legislative efforts and how to interact with our representatives. I found learning about the legislative efforts to be especially interesting.

As student nurses we often do not realize that the framework for our profession is being decided right now, before we even graduate. For example, did you know that advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) do not have the same flexibility to practice in Missouri as they do in other states? Doesn’t quite seem fair, does it? Fortunately, there are groups like MONA who are advocating on our behalf about this and other issues.

While visiting the capitol, another student and I turned our trip into a legislative scavenger hunt. We visited the senate and house chambers, took photos and even tracked down our state representative Sue Meredith from district 71. I was surprised how easy it was to talk with Representative Meredith and impressed by her willingness to talk with constituents.

As a nurse, I want what’s best for my profession and feel I have a responsibility to advocate for our patients. I’m convinced that the best way to do so is to organize nurses so that our voices can be heard within the halls of our legislature. That’s why it is important to have an organization like MONA that not only represents our voice but also provides its members an opportunity to participate.

I encourage nursing students to participate in events like this. I found it to be a great opportunity to interact with my peers and learn a little bit more about how I can help make nursing a great profession.

To learn more about Missouri Nurses Association (MONA), visit www.missourinurses.org.

And find out who your state representative is at www.house.mo.gov.

Student Focus: A Nurse First, an Airman Second

Second Lieutenant Jeremy Nelson (right) at his commissioning ceremony with Captain Alan Millais (left).

“I’m a people person,” explains recent Goldfarb School of Nursing grad Jeremy Nelson. “So I planned on going to school to be a teacher. I never thought I would become a nurse and certainly didn’t think I would join the Air Force.” And although many people wouldn’t put the words “nursing” and “Air Force” in the same sentence, Nelson does, because he felt God’s hand leading him to both.

Because both his parents were in the nursing field, Nelson knows about the passion and dedication this career requires. He learned more about the profession as friends became nurses, and his interest in nursing grew as they encouraged him to consider the career for himself. Finally, after time spent working in retail, Nelson decided he wanted to start helping people facing real problems, not retail problems. As a nurse, he knew he could use his people skills to significantly impact lives every day. So at the age of 29, with a wife and baby at home, Nelson enrolled at Goldfarb and took his first nursing class.

In that class, Nelson learned about a number of career options, including military nursing. Nelson says, “I thought to myself…well, that’s not going to happen. I have a wife, a baby, and I’m too old.” Still, the option of joining the military intrigued him. He looked through some brochures and talked to other Goldfarb students – some older than Nelson, one with three kids – who had chosen the military. During the same time frame, Nelson’s father-in-law suddenly passed away and was honored with a military funeral. With increased curiosity, Nelson reached out to his cousin-in-law, Alan Millais, a captain in the U.S. Air Force. “Alan really ignited my desire to join the military,” says Nelson “So many things were leading me that direction; I felt called to join.”

During his last term at Goldfarb, Nelson applied to the U.S. Air Force nursing program. Out of 250 applicants, only 50 were accepted. Nelson recalls how it felt when he received the acceptance phone call. “I said, ‘This is Jeremy Nelson,’ and the recruiter said, ‘You mean Lieutenant Jeremy Nelson.’ I was ecstatic!”

On October 27, at Goldfarb Hall during his commissioning ceremony, Nelson became a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. This winter Nelson will report to commissioned officer training to start his six-year commitment. “I will be a nurse first and an airman second,” says Nelson.

Nelson looks forward to his time in the Air Force. He knows there will be numerous opportunities for him to learn and grow in the field of nursing and in personal character. He intends to seek an advanced nursing degree and ultimately hopes to earn a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. “It would be such an honor to teach others about serving people through nursing, but I never want to entirely leave the clinical setting.”

Homecoming 2012: Celebrating Community & Accomplishments

ImageOn Friday, September 21, students and alumni will gather at the College for the first ever Nursing Networking Social.  This is an opportunity for attendees to interact with nursing professionals in various fields who are there to provide insight into career paths of interest. Enjoy appetizers, cocktails and insightful conversation with fellow nurses.

On Saturday, September 22, alumni, students, family and friends are invited to join a Homecoming celebration onthe campus of Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.

The day’s program will begin with a memorial service for Eloise Delap (Jewish Hospital School of Nursing, 1958), who passed away in March of this year. Eloise influenced the lives of hundreds of students during the more than 30 years she contributed to the success of the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing.

After the memorial service, Dean Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, will deliver a brief message, then spend time meeting with attendees.  Alumni can attend a one-hour Continuing Education session on Emergency Preparedness. The program will focus on the challenges of mobilizing academic centers during crisis.

Saturday’s complimentary luncheon offers a chance for conversation with former classmates and current students. The day concludes with a program to recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to the nursing community. The 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards Reception will conclude the Homecoming celebration.

Throughout Homecoming weekend, the Clinical Simulation Institute will be available for tours. Take the opportunity to walk through Goldfarb’s world-class, advanced simulation facility to get a glimpse of the technology currently used in nursing education.

Homecoming Schedule
Nursing Networking Social at Goldfarb Hall
Friday, September 21
3 – 5 p.m.

Homecoming at Goldfarb Hall
Saturday, September 22
8:30 a.m. – Registration Opens
9 – 10 a.m. – Memorial Service
10 – 10:30 a.m. – Dean’s Welcome
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Continuing Education: Emergency Preparedness
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Alumni Luncheon
1 – 2 p.m. – 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards
Also available: Clinical Simulation Institute Tours

Visit http://www.barnesjewishcollege.edu/alumni and click on ‘Upcoming Events’ for a complete Homecoming schedule and to register online.

If you have any questions, email them to gson-alumni@bjc.org or call 314-362-7283.

Goldfarb Alum Going Primetime

Image

Katie Duke, a 2004 graduate of Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, will make her primetime television debut on ABC’s News Medical Documentary “NY Med” on July 10th, 2012.

Duke is a nurse in the emergency department at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the busiest emergency room in New York City, and she has seen it all.  Now everyone can see the insane day-to-day life of an ER nurse through Duke’s eyes.

Living by the mottos “deal with it”, and “everything worthwhile takes sacrifice”, Duke does not see the chaos or challenges in her job as hindrances, but as opportunities.  The opportunities to change lives and to help fix people, or at least teach people how to fix themselves, are just a few reasons why Duke loves being a nurse.  Another reason is that she knows patients get to go home with their loved ones at the end of the day because she is an “awesome nurse”.

The confidence Duke has in her nursing abilities comes from her time spent at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.  She feels that Goldfarb gave her realistic clinic experience and taught her the fundamental skills that she uses every day.

“The instructors always expected the best,” says Duke. “The college has a big mission and the professors have big hearts. I learned a lot about nursing and about myself while in school.  I stopped underestimating what I could do in my life and started dreaming.”

Now Duke’s dreams are becoming reality.  Not only is she attending Columbia University for a Masters degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, but she is a part of a documentary that will show viewers the real side of nursing.  Duke is excited that viewers will get to see what it really takes to be a nurse.  The knowledge, bravery, grit and emotions are all there – the good and the bad – but it’s real and Duke can’t wait to share it all with America.

Why consider an RN to BSN program?

This gallery contains 1 photo.

One of the most pressing questions that RNs ask these days is this: “Should I go back to school for my BSN?” There are very good reasons why you should consider getting your BSN: In recent years, many health care … Continue reading

How to be successful in an Accelerated nursing program

This gallery contains 1 photo.

It is no secret that a one-year Accelerated nursing program is demanding, fast-paced and intense. Here at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, we always field questions from prospective and incoming students on how to manage that workload, especially … Continue reading